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Overnight guests again welcome at historic Ironmaster’s Mansion at Pine Grove Furnace State Park
Visitors to Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County are once again able to bunk down in the Ironmaster’s Mansion.

The Ironmaster’s Mansion—which features the only hostel in Pennsylvania’s system of 117 state parks—was closed for a year for much-needed renovations.

“Like many of the attractions at our state parks, the Ironmaster’s Mansion at Pine Grove is steeped in history,” DCNR Bureau of State Parks Director John Norbeck said. Read more...

Dogs allowed to stay with owners in select state park cabins starting April 2012
Dogs will be allowed to stay with their owners at select state park cabins and camping cottages under a pilot program that will begin in April 2012, DCNR said this week. Read more...

John Giordano named deputy secretary for administration
DCNR acting Secretary Richard Allan last week announced that John Giordano will lead the agency’s administrative operations. Read more...

DCNR lecture series at State Museum to focus on restoring trees in Pennsylvania’s cities and towns
Ellen Roane, urban forestry coordinator for DCNR will present “TreeVitalize: Restoring Tree Cover in Pennsylvania Communities,” on Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Read more...

DEP encourages public to join Great American Cleanup of PA
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to join in a statewide effort to clean up communities and the environment. Read more...

Pike County maps out adventure for outdoors enthusiasts to follow
It is one thing to be a county blessed with a wealth of natural resources; it is another to actively engage in sharing that unspoiled natural bounty with others. Read more...

Also in the News

Coldwater Heritage Partnership announces 2011 grant recipients
The Coldwater Heritage Partnership recently announced that over $60,000 in grants have been awarded to local organizations to protect and conserve Pennsylvania’s coldwater stream habitats. CHP is a cooperative initiative among DCNR, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

This year the CHP awarded planning and implementation grants. Organizations funded by a planning grant will be responsible for creating a “Coldwater Conservation Plan” that gathers existing data about the coldwater ecosystem; identifies potential impacts, threats, problems and opportunities to our coldwater streams; formulates a plan of action for proposed conservation and protection strategies; and builds community awareness and support for the conservation of our coldwater streams.

The recipients include:

  • Huntingdon County Conservation District;
  • Chester Ridley Crum Watershed Association
  • Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • Lehigh County Conservation District
  • Clearfield County Conservation District
  • Trout Unlimited Eastern Abandoned Mine Program
  • Columbia County Conservation District on behalf of the Briar Creek Association for Watershed Solutions
  • Allegheny Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
For more information, visit the Coldwater Heritage website.

Volunteers needed for tree planting in York County
TreeVitalize volunteers are needed to help plant 680 tree seedlings on April 30 along Willis Run in York City’s Noonan Park as part of the WITF Woodland. The event will begin with light refreshments at 9 a.m. The park is located north of Kiwanis Lake, between Atlantic Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue.

WITF provides funding for the seedlings through listener donations. The seedlings are provided by the DCNR, which also identifies the location and types of trees to be planted. York City is providing manpower and equipment to prepare the site, while the Conservation District is managing the event. The goal of the project is to help protect water quality and improve the park’s natural appeal. Once mature, the trees will help prevent runoff into Willis Run, shade the water to make it healthier for aquatic life and add beauty to the park.

TreeVitalize is an effort to plant one million trees in metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania to turn around an alarming loss of tree cover over the past several decades. More than 230,000 trees have been planted so far. If possible, volunteers interested in participating in the seedling plant should bring: gloves; shovels; buckets for watering; a sledge hammer for pounding stakes; a pocket knife and shears.

Anyone who volunteers will receive a tree seedling following the planting to plant at their own home compliments of the Conservation District. For more information about the Willis Run planting event or TreeVitalize visit here.

Game Commission releases second wind energy summary report
As Pennsylvania and the nation seeks alternative sources of energy, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has released its second report summarizing survey results and other associated activities, through June 30, 2010, which are a product of the voluntary agreements signed by the state’s wildlife agency and 30 wind energy companies. Among some of the findings:

  • Telemetry surveys conducted on state-listed eastern small-footed bats and the federally- and state-listed Indiana bats yielded new capture locations, roost locations and foraging areas for both species in Pennsylvania. This new information has since been submitted for inclusion into the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI).
  • A new hibernaculum containing the federally- and state-listed endangered Indiana bat was documented in 2009.
  • The average estimated bat deaths per turbine per year was 24.6 (range 6.8 – 42.7). Hoary bats comprised 30 percent of bat mortality documented at cooperating wind facilities.
  • The average estimated bird deaths per turbine per year was 3.9 (range 1.7 – 9.8). Passerines accounted for the largest portion of bird mortality at wind sites. Three state-listed endangered bird fatalities occurred in September of 2009, with one being documented at each of three different wind sites. The three endangered birds documented were two blackpoll warblers and one yellow-bellied flycatcher.
  • Cooperators did not document any large mortality events (greater than 50 carcasses documented in a single day event).
For a complete copy of the summary report, visit the Game Commission’s website, put your cursor over “Wildlife” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage, then put your cursor over “Habitat Management” in the drop-down menu listing, select “Wind Energy” in the next drop-down menu listing and click on “PGC 2nd Wind Energy Summary Report.”

Agency Spotlight

Lackawanna State Forest
This is a place where the river forks.

Upcoming Events

Let's go Fishing! at Sinnemahoning State Park
A Get Outdoors PA eventApril 16. Held 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Kids! Join the park naturalist at the boat launch area for an introduction to the sport of fishing. Information on tackle, bait, fish identification, and fishing regulations will be discussed. Casting instruction will be included, and children will have a chance to borrow equipment and practice fishing during the program. Pre-registration by April 15th is required. Please call the park office at (814) 647-8401 for more information or to register for this program. Please dress for the and insect repellent are recommended.

River Towns workshop offered
April 27, May 23 and June 28. All workshops are held 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at PPL Montour Preserve Environmental Education Center Auditorium in Danville, Montour County. The SEDA-COG Community Resource Center and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership are presenting a workshop series geared towards river towns as part of the River Towns – Phase II: Discovering Middle Susquehanna Valley River Towns project. The three workshops offered in April, May and June are designed to provide information for river towns to decide each one’s unique course as it prepares for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The registration form can be downloaded here. Multiple spaces are available if more than one person from your organization should choose to attend. All three workshops are offered for $40. If not attending all three, then the cost of each individual workshop is $15. Unless you are attending all three workshops, follow the RSVP schedule below in order to allow us to accommodate for lunch. Contact Becky Digan at (570) 524-4491.

"What’s so Special about the Hopewell Big Woods?" Educators’ Workshop
May 2. Held 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at French Creek State Park. This one-day workshop, based on Environment and Ecology and Language Arts Standards, will introduce K-12 educators about the important plants, animals, places and people of the Hopewell Big Woods; the largest unbroken forest area in Southeastern Pa. This is a full day workshop that includes Act 48 credit hours and lunch for only $10. Space limited to 30, so sign up today. Online registration is available here. To request a pdf version of the registration form, or if you have questions, contact Jessica Sprajcar.

April 13, 2011

Agency Spotlight

Lackawanna State Forest

Lackawanna State Forest

This is a place where the river forks.

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